Patreon, the San Francisco based company that allows people to give money on a recurring basis to the artists and creators they support, introduced new community guidelines. These new guidelines dictate what Patreon recipients can and cannot do to be eligible for receiving Patreon money. There’s a long list of violations that will get Patreon members banned from using Patreon, or depending on the severity of the supposed violations, strikes on their official Patreon record.
Reading through the lengthy new guidelines, they strike me as something written by a child.
The guidelines are vague and not really well-defined. For example, one of the actions that will get a Patreon recipient the boot is to engage in “malicious doxing”. Although I knew what doxing means, the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual, I had no idea there were different kinds of doxing. To ban malicious doxing implies not all doxing is wrong, and not all kinds of doxing will get you cut off from that sweet, sweet Patron money.
Before reading Patreon’s new community guidelines, I thought doxing was doxing.
As dumb as these new community guidelines are, the most ridiculous thing is how they will be enforced. If people see a page on Patreon that they feel violates the new community guidelines, they’re encouraged to send Patreon an email. In other words, to tattle on the Patreon precipitant they feel is violating the new guidelines.
This should go over really well with people who love to snitch on other people, especially when they can do it over the Internet.
Personally, I hope these new guidelines encourage people to stay away from Patreon. Instead of relying on handouts from people they don’t know, it’s better for artists and creators to actually earn the money they receive. It’s better for them, and it’s better for society.